The total length of the Trans-Siberian Railway is 9289 km
In 1891, by the decree of Tsar Alexander III, the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway was commenced, for the very purpose of connecting certain European parts of Russia with the Asian ones and the Far East. The total cost of the project (the actual cost) was 1.5 billion rubles. It is believed that the highway was built solely using public money without attracting foreign investment. The movement of trains has begun in 1901.
Builders (prisoners and military) had faced somewhat hard time. Firstly, it was due to the very extreme weather conditions – starting with abnormal heat to absolutely severe frosts. Secondly, they were forced to endlessly fend off attacks from wild animals and crooks. Thirdly, it was necessary to fight through hard-to-reach areas – to bypass the swamps and forests and even to blast the mountain in order to get the opportunity to encircle Baikal Lake by the track.
Simultaneously, construction work was carried out at the following sections: Ussuriysk, West-Siberian, Mid-Siberian, Trans-Baikal, KrugoBaikal, Amur and Chinese East (penetrated through the territory of China). Subsequently, they decided to pave the way exclusively through the territory of the Russian Empire. In 1916, it was brought to life, and since that time, Transsib remained as to its modern state. Then the Kazan-Yekaterinburg line (in 1924) and the Baikal-Amur Mainline (in 1938) were attached to it.
By 2002, Transsib had been fully electrified. The bridge over the Amur (near Khabarovsk) was also reconstructed, as well as part of the Khingan tunnels. Tsar's bridge over the Yenisei was replaced.
In 2013, significant link between the Chinese Railway and Transsib was created to optimize freight traffic between Beijing and Hamburg. Thus, it was possible to save 11 days of traveling (if compared to sea shipments).At present time, Russian government is prepared to provid huge funds (more than 560 billion rubles) to complete modernisation of the Trans-Siberian Railway and BAM. In addition, there are plans to build a bridge or tunnel to Sakhalin.
In 2017, the Austrian Ministry of Transport expressed its intention to extend the Trans-Siberian Railway to Vienna. According to the plan, the construction may commence in 2023.
The main problem of BAM and Transsib, these days, is lack of personnel due to poor social, living and medical conditions in remote settlements of the country.
The fastest train available at present travels the distance from Moscow to Vladivostok in just 7 days. This is a great way to see all of Russia at once, to enjoy its beauty and scale!